A grassroots anti-war movement is gaining traction

There were only eight of them when the march started.
They carried no weapons, little money, and even fewer supplies. They relied entirely on the kindness of strangers for food and a place to sleep. Everywhere they stopped they shared their stories of tragedy and hardship, and hundreds of locals would gather to listen and share their own stories.
Because there is no place untouched by war in Afghanistan.

As they marched the hundreds of miles across the various war zones, alternating between Taliban controlled and government controlled regions, people began joining the peace march. By the time a NY Times reporter caught up to them their numbers had grown to 65. When BBC found the march they numbered 80.

In Wardak province, 50 kilometres (31 miles) south west of Kabul, an extraordinary procession is making its way down a dusty road in the countryside.

Around 80 men, young and old, wearing turbans and hats to protect them from the burning sun, are greeted with garlands and cheers by local people.

Carpets have been laid out on the ground to offer them a chance to rest and break their Ramadan fast.

None of them are wealthy or notable. They are regular working class people, and they've seen enough of war.

The peace movement in Afghanistan started with sit-ins in Helmand province in late March. It quickly went viral. Because of it's undeniable authenticity and popularity, neither the government nor the Taliban dares to attack it.

Most importantly, the peace movement is having a concrete effect on the war.

In scenes that would have seemed impossible a few days ago, members of the Afghan Taliban have been embracing Afghan security forces amid a three-day ceasefire called to mark Eid.

President Ashraf Ghani has extended the government's ceasefire and called on the Taliban to do the same.

The government has also released some Taliban militants from jail.

This simply wouldn't have happened if not for the Afghan peace movement.
But the best part is that the three-day ceasefire is building into something much bigger.
Ghani has offered peace talks "without preconditions" and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said something, something conditions of peace talks, blah, blah, blah, but anyone even care?

If Afghanistan will ever find peace again, it'll be because the people of Afghanistan want it and demand it. The U.S. shouldn't even be invited to the peace talks until the concerns of the Afghan people have been addressed.
Everything America has done in Afghanistan has been a complete failure. Whether it is our anti-narcotics program, or our stabilization program, or the 16-year long war itself.
It's long past time that Afghanistan, and the world, stopped waiting for America to lead, because we've proven that we are unable to lead. Hopefully, the Afghan people can show us the way.

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I've noticed that the media and pundits all talk about Trump's summit with North Korea, as if Trump actually did something other than shake hands.
The right-wing media praises Trump. Democrats attack the summit from the right in order to not give Trump credit.

No one is mentioning the truth - the summit happened because of the people of South Korea.
Period. No one in the U.S. did anything to make it happen, and the South Korean government only did this after the people of South Korea made it clear they were fed up.

I'll do an essay on this tomorrow or so.

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@gjohnsit I've noticed most change comes from the people. When there is enough momentum and the wind changes our "leaders" hurry to the front of the line to take the credit.

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@gjohnsit If everything was up to South Korea, then why couldn't South Korea have convinced NK to stop its weapons programs?

Supposedly, BO told Trump that NK would be his (Trump's) greatest problem. So do you really think that Trump sat on his hands until SK made a move?

(not that anything definite has happened just yet)

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dfarrah

@dfarrah

If everything was up to South Korea

Full stop.
I never even implied that.

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detroitmechworks's picture

The question is whether or not there will be any humans to enjoy it.

Right now, TPTB obviously see profit in keeping American Soldiers in there. The real danger to the US is not that there's going to be peace, but rather that the Afghan people will suddenly stop selling out their countrymen for a mythical payoff.

The MIC only controls what they can cow into submission. Money you can't eat won't cut it much anymore for the people.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks
For the sake of their own country they need to ignore us.

If they come to a peace agreement, we'll pretty much have to accept it.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

There were only eight of them when the march started.

They carried no weapons, little money, and even fewer supplies. They relied entirely on the kindness of strangers for food and a place to sleep. Everywhere they stopped they shared their stories of tragedy and hardship, and hundreds of locals would gather to listen and share their own stories.

Talk about long overdue.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

If Afghanistan will ever find peace again, it'll be because the people of Afghanistan want it and demand it. The U.S. shouldn't even be invited to the peace talks

.... until there IS peace. The US is the fox with the munchies in this particular henhouse. The only thing the Afghans need of the US is: OUT.

Everything America has done in Afghanistan has been a complete failure. Whether it is our anti-narcotics program, or our stabilization program, or the 16-year long war itself.

Everything any foreigners have done in Afghanistan has been a complete failure, from the Persians to the Greeks to the Mongols to the British to the Russians to the US. Only the Afghans can live in Afghanistan. And only the Afghans have any business trying to do so.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Wink's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

wendy davis's picture

kathy kelly is a guest with the afghan peace volunteers, and often posts at dissident voice (In the late ‘80s she spent one year in prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites). this is from march 2018, the internal search engine wasn't organized by time too well. 'Teen Solidarity Against the Merchants of Death'. it's so very poignant and tender...amid the carnage reports. she opens:

"Here in Kabul, as the rising sun begins to warm our chilly rooms, I hear excited laughter from downstairs. Rosemary Morrow, a renowned Australian permaculture expert, has begun teaching thirty-five young students in a month-long course on low-resource farming.

In war-torn Afghanistan, there’s a desperate need to rebuild agricultural infrastructure and help people grow their own food. People verging on despair feel encouraged by possibilities of replenishing and repairing their soil.

The night before, over dinner, one of the students discussed news from his home town in Afghanistan’s Wardak province about U.S. aerial attacks. “The blasts have become so frequent,” he said, “that people can’t find spaces to bury their dead.” [snip]

Why fill the landscape of any country with craters and graves? What could we possibly hope to harvest?

Zainab tells me she thinks the teenage generation is changing and that more young people believe in training individuals and nations to avoid killing.

Why can’t we devise sustainable ways to bring about peace?” she asks.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Funny thing; you know what it reminds me of, off the top of my head? The Mexican Las Posadas tradition.

Even - indeed, ESPECIALLY - if the MIC decides to do something truly dastardly about this, this is the stuff that folktales are made of....

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“The enemy wasn't men, or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stupid people, who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid.”

― Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

Amanda Matthews's picture

current ‘peace’ talks fail.

Deadly Blast Punctures Afghanistan’s Brief Moment of Peace
By Zabihullah Ghazi and Mujib Mashal
June 16,2018

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — A remarkable thing happened in Afghanistan’s war. There were nearly two days of peace.

As cease-fires by the government and the Taliban took hold, security forces and insurgents celebrated and took pictures together for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

But at one of those celebrations in the eastern province of Nangarhar, an explosion went off Saturday afternoon, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 50, among them civilians and members of both the Taliban and the Afghan security forces. Officials said it was either a suicide bomber or a car bomb.

*

An offshoot of the Islamic State, which has had a foothold in the province and has been behind some of the deadliest recent attacks there, claimed responsibility for the attack outside the provincial capital of Jalalabad, according to the tracking group Terror Monitor.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/16/world/asia/afghanistan-explosion-t...

Maybe the government and the Taliban will see it’s in their best interests to bury the hatchet between them and fight their common enemy, ISIS.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa